Training Update: More Reflecting than Training

Last week a combination of life and reflection happened.  I realized I am diving too quickly into training.  This post is lengthy and more of a reflection than a training post.  If you want the training side: I ran 25 easy, uneventful, miles.

If you want the reflection side…here we go.

As funny as it sounds, I’m not as young as I used to be and also not a new runner.  Due to my awkward form, I’m more susceptible to injury too.  I’m not sure why I thought increasing mileage and adding racing was a good idea but it’s not.

Unsurprisingly from jumping into training too quickly, everything feels achy.  While I could continue to increase mileage, I would probably increase those aches.  Running is funny that you think you can get away with things…sometimes you can, but 99% of the time it humbles you later.

Right now, nothing is injured but quite frankly I don’t feel good running. I have a gut feeling I would get injured soon if I didn’t change something. I’ve decided to actually go about getting back into running the smart way. 

How will I do that?

Instead of increasing mileage, I’m going to keep my mileage low.  In fact, I’m not going to race again for a few weeks.   Currently, I am achy, tight and sore, plus I don’t feel great.

I would like to be glamorous and say I’m coming back from my running break well but the truth is, I’m not.  That’s fine and I’m not upset about it.  Last week, I wrote a post about coming back easy and not comparing yourself to anyone (including yourself).  If I can’t take my own advice, I have no business writing posts about it.

I’ve also been talking to one of my post-collegiate coaches and mentors frequently.  While running with him a while ago, I ran well (in the 2012-2013 time frame).  Life happened and I moved 4 times in 2014 and didn’t run very competitively either.  After that, I remained coachless until last year.

We have been talking more regularly the last few weeks, and he suggested taking 2 weeks off and using the antigravity treadmill, and building mileage from there.

He also knows my early running history better than anyone (and knows my history now too).  While I don’t need a coach right now, I am talking to him consistently and would like to give credit.  When I’m looking for a structured plan, he will probably be the first person I will seek (and he knows that, so thanks Jim 🙂

On the personal life side, for the rest of June and possibly even July, my life is going to get extremely busy.  Due to my husband’s job, it’s not something I can talk about online and will never be able too.  I will still work regularly at my running store job but will be doing a lot more again outside of that. I don’t like vague blogging, but saying “I’m busy” will have to suffice.  ETA: I’m excited about this change and no one is forcing me to do anything.   

That being said, this summer probably won’t be the summer of hard training.  I won’t say definitely not, but I doubt I will train and run hard. It will make my running blog more boring because I’ll be running and racing far less (if any).  Heck, I don’t even have children or pets to talk about. I’ll run when I have time, but with the summer heat, my only time might be a quick hour in the middle of the day (in that case, I won’t run or run on the antigravity treadmill).   If I’m going to run on a treadmill at all, might as well as be in style right?

For the first time in a while, I am 100% okay with not training seriously.  Six months ago if I had been thrown the same situation, I would have begun to stress out with cramming runs into that situation.  Right now, I’m okay with not getting into serious training right now.

Below is last week of running.  It doesn’t feel like a lot but to be honest, it’s probably the most I’ll log outdoors for a while.

Monday: Easy 5 miles
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: Easy 5 miles
Thursday: Easy 5 miles
Friday: Easy 5 miles
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: Easy 5 miles

Total: 25 miles

So yes that was a lot of life updates.  If you just scrolled to the bottom: you missed that I’m backing off running seriously for a while, ran 25 miles last week, and going to be busy for the next 2 months.  I’ll still blog and I’ll still run but probably nothing more than 5-6 miles and minimal if any racing.

Posts from the Week:

The Importance of Easing Back into Training

HT 3.9 (26:12) miler Race Recap

Questions for you:

Are you training for anything?

When is your favorite time to run?

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Training Log: Adding Mileage and Racing

My goal for the next few weeks is to slowly build mileage while hopefully racing.  While I know none of the races will be PRs, or close, they will serve their purpose as workouts.  I’ll adjust to running 3 quicker miles a week, with the rest of the miles being anywhere between 8:30-10 minute miles.  If I charge my watch and use it for half of my runs, I’ll consider it a success.

As I come back from my break, my goal is to do so healthily.  Overdoing it isn’t going to build fitness any faster and it will just set me up for an injury (or five).  As someone who is already injury prone, I don’t need more odds against me.

This week went well, and I did exactly what I wanted.  Even though it was extremely hot and humid, I was able to motivate myself get through runs.

Monday: 6 miles
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 7 miles
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: Holy Angels 5k (3.9 miles)  26:12
 Sunday: OFF

All of my weekday runs were smooth and uneventful.  By 6 am, the temperature was already in the 80s, so I tried to get them done as soon as possible.  I felt like I had run a marathon by how tired I was after running in the heat.

The race on Saturday was eventful to say the least.  I’ll have a race recap later in the week but it was first time race that started late (and a 10 am start is late enough) and had over 10 turns and only a handful of volunteers.  Needless to say, most course participants got extremely lost and I ended up running 3.9 miles.  I’m still happy with my race efforts and live to race another day.

In other running news, I was accepted to be an ambassador for Rabbit Apparel.  I’ve liked their apparel since first trying it about 6 months ago.  I’ve also had nothing but positive interactions with members of the team as well as the brand and company.  When they announced ambassador applications, I knew it was a company I wanted to apply too.  I haven’t been an ambassador for an apparel company in awhile, but I’m looking forward to starting a new path with Rabbit.

If anyone was interested in trying out a piece of clothing, you can use this link and receive 10% off!

This now means I’ll represent both Rabbit and CEP Compression.  I stand behind both brands of making high-quality products and being great people as well.

Posts from the week:

Brooks Pureflow Shoe Review

Westside 5k (21:00)

Questions for you:

Are you an ambassador for any companies? 

How was your week of training?

Workouts Last Week: Back to Running

Last week was my first substantial week of running.  I increased my mileage a bit more than I anticipated but I felt good and didn’t have any issues.  Right now, I’ll probably find a local race weekly and work on chipping my 5k back down to where it was prior my break.  I won’t add much solo speed for a while.  It will be a long road to get back to where I was physically, but more importantly I’m already mentally back.

Monday: 3 miles+15 minute core workout
Tuesday: 3 miles+ 15-minute core workout
Wednesday: 6 miles with Montana
Thursday: 6 miles with my husband
Friday: 3 miles+strength class
Saturday: 5k (21:00) Total miles: 9
Sunday: 6 miles with Laura

On Saturday, my husband and I chose to race a 5k.  We had briefly discussed it on Friday but I got a migraine and went to bed early that night.  I slept from 8 pm-6 am.  I woke up groggy and to be honest, I didn’t feel ready to race.  My husband turned to me and asked: So when are we leaving…so I decided I guess that would be the day I would jump back into it.

I know downtown Wilmington well, and suspected the course wasn’t flat.  What I didn’t realize, was it would probably be one of the top 5 hardest 5k courses I’ve done in a while.  Not because I haven’t been running, or it was hot but because it had an uphill climb.  That being said, I raced the course and my ability.  I had no goals other than to finish healthy (which I did).  I ended up finishing in 21:00 exactly and as third female overlal.  My husband actually won the race in 18:30 (which is about 60-90 seconds slower than what he has been running…so it gives me confidence the course was actually difficult…plus GPS watches don’t lie…right ;)?

Next week I plan to keep chipping along.  I don’t plan to increase mileage too much (if at all).  I just plan to continue strengthening my base.

Posts from the week:

A Day in the Life on Global Running Day

Benefits of Adding Protein after Running

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

What is the hilliest race you’ve done?

Benefits of Adding Protein after Running

I have read many articles about the importance of adding protein after running.  However, during many other training cycles, I let life get in the way.  I packed runs in before work or events. Getting the proper nutrition, stretching and “the little things,” fell through the cracks.  Half of the time, I was lucky to make it to where I needed to go on time.

This particular training cycle (what I’m actually training for is TBD), I have made an effort to do the little things like having protein after a run or core work.  Am I perfect?  No, but in the past few weeks, I’ve been more consistent.

As most people know by now, Quest Bars are my favorite protein bars. Recently they released three new bars called Hero Bars.  The Hero Quest Bars are different from their regular protein bars and cereal bars.

 

How so?

Every Quest Hero Protein Bar features a sweet, chocolatey coating, and a gooey filling and with a protein core.  They resemble candy bars versus the typical protein bars.

I tried each one:

quest hero bars

My favorite is the Chocolate Caramel Pecan.  It resembles a candy bar!

quest hero bar chocolate caramel pecan

So how have I been incorporating protein after my diet?

Thinking out loud, it’s actually obvious and I’ve been having a protein bar after each run (no matter the distance) and I seem to be coming back well.  I’m nowhere near PRing shape, but I’ve gone from struggling during 4 mile runs to running 6 miles like no big deal (well, I’ll leave it at running 6 miles).

What are benefits of consuming protein directly after a run?

Protein helps speed muscle repair after hard workouts (right now that is every run) which lead to faster recovery.

It also reduces the response from cortisol.  Cortisol is the stress hormone.  While I have another post about this soon, I recently got blood work done again, and my cortisol is lower than it’s been in a very long time!

Thanks to Quest for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are my own and I find the Quest Hero bars to be my favorite way to consume protein after a run.  They are easy to carry in a bag (when I don’t run from home) and easy to digest.  Since originally trying them, I have bought several boxes and continue to have a bar after each run.

Questions for you:

Do you consume protein after runs?

What are little things you find that help your running?

Happy Global Running Day

Happy Global Running Day and I hope you’re able to celebrate with a run! Running has been a part of my life since mid-2010.

One of my first collegiate cross country races.

You can read my running story here, but I started running in mid-college.

Since then I’ve met wonderful friends, coworkers, and even my husband.

Running a road race right before my wedding with Heather, Brittany, and Laura
Running with coworkers Colleen and Julie
Recently running with my brother Matt

All experiences I can share through the sport.  The beauty of running is it doesn’t matter your pace, speed or ability.  If you treat yourself well, running will be there for you.

Enjoy the day!

Are you running today?  

If not, that is fine too!  Typically in June, I find myself burned out or injured, so this is one of the few Global Running Days I feel excited to run!

Training: Sunny Weeks and 20 Miles

My workouts last week included running!  I guess that deserves an exclamation point right?  In the last week, I have felt a lot more motivated to run.  More importantly, I’ve enjoyed running.

Monday: 4 miles with my brother
Tuesday: Strength workout
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 5 miles with my friend Julie
Sunday: 4 miles and Core Workout
Toal: 20 miles

So how was it? 

I’ve been feeling good running.   To be honest, this is the best I’ve felt running in awhile.  Yes, I’m running far less miles but I’m enjoying miles.  There isn’t a lot to say as I continue to build my base back.  Since I took a lot of time completely off, my running fitness has decreased but I know it will come back.

I want to keep doing strength and core workouts.  Like many runners, I often “say” I will but don’t commit to the little extras.  I personally like the Nike Training Club and strength classes at my local gym.

For the next few weeks, I plan to keep doing what I’m doing.  I’ll gradually increase mileage but I’m not going to go crazy.  I do plan to jump into a few local races soon and get a feel for where I’m at fitness-wise.

Posts from the week:

May Training Log: 7 miles

What to Do Between Training Cycles:

Questions for you:

How was your week of workouts?

What is your favorite strength workout?

May Training Log: 7 Miles

Another month has come and gone.  Towards the end of the month, I thought this would be the month of the 0.0 but I ended up running a grand total of 7 miles.  All of which were this past week.

So instead of trying to come with a few hundred words about the 7 miles, I’ll tell you they were ok.  I didn’t feel amazing and I didn’t feel terrible.  I didn’t feel as if it was “the greatest comeback ever”.  I probably ran about 10 minute pace but I have no idea.  In fact, I don’t even know if it was 7 miles.  It could be 6 or it could 8…Despite charging it, my watch still hasn’t gone for any runs with me. I just ran around my neighborhood until I felt sufficient.

Moving right along.

I did do quite a bit of cross training:
Swam 3X (total 3 miles)
7 Strength classes
6 Core classes (all between 15-30 mins)
Elliptical: 1X run in rabbit core

Rest Days: 14

In summary, the month was what I needed.  It was a break from running and I didn’t try and compensate with doing a lot of cardio.

I gained weight, lost fitness, but my life moved right along. I know taking a break was the best thing I could have done and I have no regrets.

Life wise, I also had a lot going on that kept me busy and I didn’t miss running.  I knew how burnt, when I could stand at the Broad Street 10 mile finish, watch the race and not feel sad I chose not to run.  

It was a whirlwind month. I had both my dad and in-laws come visit in Early May.  Then, my mother came and visited the following week.

Eastern State Penitentiary philadephia
We made it!

After that, my husband came home mid May and spent a few days in New York.  While in New York, I felt a slight twinge of exciement to run again.  Not enough to actually run, but I had a little bit of excitement.

After having fun in New York City, we drove down to Virginia to see my brother Matt.  Due to being stationed overseas, I hadn’t seen him since my wedding in April 2015.  It was a great month, but such a busy month as well.  matt and i

What’s on tap for June?

I am going to continue slowly build my base.  I don’t have any major races in June but I will probably jump into a local race.  I do plan to continue with strength and core classes because I’ve grown to enjoy them.

My husband and I are actually focusing more on nutrition this month so expect to see a few posts about that.

Posts from the month:
36 Pairs of Running Shoes Later
Visiting New York City
NonRunning Workout Ideas
A Week with Family
My Running Burnout
Running Related Posts
Are you Getting Enough Fiber?

So in summary, it’s been a great 5 weeks but I’m also excited to get back into training.  It’s not a feeling I’ve had in quite some time.

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

Have you ever taken time off?